Women Leaders; Use the A and B Theory to Rise to the Top!—On Leading and Following
There is a fine line between a person being an authority and a person being a leader. The line gets pencil thin when it comes to women. We are not discussing eyeliner tactics, like defined or “smoky eye.” This is real hard-core look at 2008, the year of the female. Now is the time to make the move!
To become a business leader, one must have followers. Theoretically, the work place is a majority male population and therefore a leader in business must conquer the “male” mind. Of course, every business leader must have the discipleship of their field and the encouraging consideration of their “work place.”
It is a valid point that the trip to the top is easier with great knowledge. However, that is not all that is required to gain respect. A leader must first gain this respect and then go beyond. This is where the A Theory comes into play (never mind what it is for now, but once revealed you have the treasure chest, (no pun intended).
Men tend to have an easier time with the A Theory. Perhaps it is the nature of the beast, after all, who preys on a lion? Moreover, what itty-bitty animal doesn’t want to be the lion’s best friend to avoid being eaten?
When it comes to men and women, maybe it just isn’t fair or is it that it is not equal? Despite the fact that I am not Sigmund Freud, to answer these questions I have formulated the A Theory and the B Theory. The A Theory is explained at the end of the article, but one of the best ways to grasp it, is to experience it.
Here is what males, who were leaders, said about “standing alone” and “leadership” without referring to any gender.
Revealing the A Theory
“The man that stands by himself, the universe must stand by him also.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson, (1803 – 1882) Respected Author
“Better to be followed then to lead.”—Mohandas Gandhi (1869 – 1948) Lead India’s independence from Britain
“Leadership: The art of getting someone else to do something you don’t want to do, because he wants to do it.”—Dwight D. Eisenhower, Thirty-fourth President of the United States (1890 – 1969)
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands at the moment of comfort, but where he stands at the moment of challenge and controversy.”—Martin Luther King, Civil Rights Leader, Baptist Minister (1929 – 1968)
The A Theory if you haven’t guessed, is all about “attraction”; it is all about following, not leading.
The threshold question is how does a woman get the “work place” to follow her (besides the obvious stiletto heels and short skirts.) Men say that all it takes to change the dynamics of any business, any room or any situation, is to ad a woman to the formula. This is why I offer a man’s opinion.
Despite the fact that I am not Sigmund Freud, I have formulated an A Theory and a B Theory.
Take charge women are often coined as overbearing regardless of whether we are speaking of the home or the workplace and regardless of almost every scenario. This is what I call the B Theory (you can imagine what the B stands for.)
Looking at the Forbes lists for 2007, not one woman is in the top 100 Highest Paid Executives.
Women in the workplace may be rising, but statistics show that there is room to grow. So who is the most powerful woman according to Forbes? (No, it is not Oprah)
#1 Angela Merkel Chancellor of Germany
#2 Wi Yi Vice Premier of China
Some other powerful women are,
#3 Indrya K. Nooyi Chairmen of PepsiCo
#4 Condelyzza Rice US Secretary of State
#21 Oprah Winfrey CEO Harpo
Interestingly the women CEOs of Kraft, Xerox, Rite Aid, Sarah Lee, and Bank of China ranked above Oprah. Melissa Gates was #24 and Hillary Rodham Clinton was #25.
The question is how far will society let women rise? Why does it seem that only a few women have broken out of the pact?
Here is the list of CEO 2007 Compensation (in Millions), bound to raise some eyebrows at the table because there is not one female.
#1 Steven Jobs Apple 646.60
#2 Ray R. Irani Occidental Petroleum 321.64
#4 William P. Foley II Fidelity National Financial 179.56
#5 Terry S. Semel Yahoo 174.20
#7 Angelo R. Mozilo Countrywide Financial 141.98
#8 Michael S. Jeffries Abercrombie & Fitch 114.64
#11 Harold M. Messmer Jr. Robert Half Int 74.25
#18 Joseph H. Moglia TD Ameritrade 62.24
#22 Robert J. Ulrich Target 48.09
Many people say we are not ready for a woman president. People say one single female changes the dynamics of the office. Are there any reasons why men are able to control the business world?
There is no true one answer and of course, there is no stereotype. For a woman to rise to the top, she has to get men to follow her. You can look it a simply a matter of statistics in the work place. Now you, as a female, can concentrate on the A Theory.
Imagine that men are molecules (this is not saying men are stupid). What the A Theory addresses is that men are predictable. Following the A Theory works in moments of comfort and progress and it also works in times of controversy and challenge.
The A Theory
A stands for attraction; some call it the Law of Attraction.
1. Be “likeable.”
2. Be less reactive and more proactive.
3. Use emotion “sparingly.” The even “keeled” person is easier to follow.
4. Balance the perspective of “credit” for the positive and “blame” for the negative.
5. Sort out the criticism—What is acceptable and what has little value?
The mind is especially critical of a woman who stands in front of the crowd. When was the last time you heard, “I didn’t think George Bush looked so good in that blue shirt with a gray tie,” or “Bill O’Reilly looked better with long hair (rather then short hair)?”
6. Passion is acceptable, but only in the “positive.”
Heard of the saying “no scorn like a woman’s?”
7. Narcissism—There is a balance of “getting it your way” and giving in to the way of others. A female leader must play this card. Often times a male narcissist is coined as “powerful” but a woman gets that B Theory.
8. Reason with the “fair” and “equal” philosophy at the workplace. (It works great for raising children also.)
Know the “place” or “the game” where you are at your best. Being on your game requires focus and this means eliminating or ignoring factors that you cannot control. “Fair” and “equal” are two very different concepts. Fair means that morality and justice prevail and equal means that the “same or equivalent” is implied. Expect “fair” but don’t expect “equal.”
It is fair to reason that a woman raising a family or having obligations of priority outside the career may not apply the same focus as a man, who by the way, also has a family, but places greater priority on his career. Being treated equal, both have the same rights, but being treated fairly, the diligent employee, entrepreneur, politician or the like will have an increased chance of success.
At the end of the day, regardless of whether you are a man or woman in the work place, the A theory works! For advice on business you can trust, http://www.trustmakers.com/